Queens Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 12, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Sanders Introduces “Green New Deal For New York” Legislation

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders, Jr. (D-Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Rosedale, parts of Far Rockaway) and Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) yesterday held a press conference in the State Capitol announcing the introduction of a “Green New Deal for New York” bill.

This bill is the first Green New Deal legislation in the nation to be introduced on either the state or federal level. 

“We are in a state of climate emergency. Since records have been kept, 18 of the 19 hottest years worldwide have occurred since 2001. Last year was the fourth hottest year on record,” said Sanders. “We can both save the planet from climate change and create economic growth and green jobs. In fact, you can’t do one without the other.”

Sanders commended U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her leadership on pushing for a New Green Deal on the federal level in November and this bill is largely modeled on her proposal.

Ramos Introduces One Fair Wage in NY Legislation

State Sen. Jessica Ramos

State Sen. Senator Jessica Ramos (D-Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, parts of Astoria, Woodside) will hold a press conference tomorrow to discuss a new piece of legislation she introduced that would eliminate the sub-minimum wage for food service workers and service employees who receive tips in New York state.

State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brooklyn), who introduced the measure on the senate side will also be in attendance as will tipped workers across multiple industries to speak about how this bill would improve the lives of thousands of New Yorkers by ensuring they make One Fair Wage – the full minimum wage plus tips.

It has been over a year since Gov. Cuomo directed the NYS Dept. of Labor to examine ending the sub minimum wage, which seven states, including California, have already done. That set in motion a series of seven hearings across the state from April through June of last year but tipped workers in New York State are still waiting for the governor to act.

Based on Cuomo’s inaction, Senators Ramos and Myrie are pushing ahead and continuing to call on him to authorize One Fair Wage.  

The press conference is slated for 4:15 p.m., tomorrow, Feb. 13, at Ramos’ district office, 32-37 Junction Blvd. in East Elmhurst.

Addabbo Bill Prohibiting Taking of Menhaden Fish Passes Senate

State Sen.  Joseph Addabbo Jr.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) announced that the senate recently passed the bill he co-sponsored which prohibits taking a species of fish known as the Atlantic Menhaden from district waters using a purse seine.

Seine fishing involves using a large fishing net, called a seine, cast off the side of large commercial fishing boats to collect fish. Menhadan fish are popular for seine fishing because they are used for fishmeal and fish-oil based products and local anglers use them as bait to catch larger fish that they can eat or sell. They are also a major food source for whales, dolphins and other large marine life.

Under current laws, any fishing vessel that purchases a permit can legally use these purse seines to capture large amounts of these vital fish species.

“Atlantic Menhaden have fallen victim to overfishing in the waters of the Rockaways,” Addabbo said. “We have seen a strong comeback of Menhaden in the waters off the Rockaways and Broad Channel in recent years thanks to the efforts of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the passage of this vital legislation will only continue that progress.”

After passing the Senate, the bill was returned to the Assembly.

Katz, Borough Board Hold Public Hearing On Mayor’s Preliminary Budget

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the Queens Borough Board tomorrow will hold a public hearing on the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2020 Preliminary Expense and Capital Budget.

The purpose of the hearing will be to obtain the views and recommendations of the Community Boards, community stakeholders and the residents of Queens regarding the proposals contained in the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2020 Preliminary Budget. This input will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2020.

“The budget sets forth how City resources will be allocated and outlines the agenda for City government,” said Katz. “The testimony presented during the public hearing will greatly help the Queens Borough Board prepare our recommendations for Queens’ FY20 budget priorities. All Queens residents are encouraged to make their views known to the Borough Board about what should be included in the City’s final budget.”

The hearing is slated for 10 a.m., tomorrow, Feb. 13 at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens.